How Do I Evaluate My Broader Impacts Program
How will you know that your broader impacts program and its respective activities are actually achieving the desired outcome? Regardless of whether you are thinking about executing broader impacts in general, or specifically for NSF, evaluation is a critical component to determine BI success. The “Next Page” link at the bottom of this page and sub-tabs (soon to be released) provide ways that this can be done for your BI program.
NSF expects that you will carry out the activities described in your proposal. This includes evaluating the effectiveness of your broader impacts activities. NSF states that meaningful assessment and evaluation of NSF funded projects should be based on appropriate metrics, keeping in mind the likely correlation between the effect of broader impacts and the resources provided to implement projects. If the size of the activity is limited, evaluation of that activity in isolation is not likely to be meaningful. Thus, assessing the effectiveness of these activities may best be done at a higher, more aggregated, level than the individual project (NSF – PAPPG). This means also evaluating at the program level.
Note: Furthermore, even if assessment of broader impacts outcomes for particular projects is done at an aggregated level, PI’s are expected to be accountable for carrying out the activities described in the funded project. Thus, individual projects should include clearly stated goals, specific descriptions of the activities that the PI intends to do, and a plan in place to document the outputs of those activities (NSF – PAPPG).